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Exp Parasitol. 1995 May;80(3):419-29.

Plasmodium yoelii: 17-kDa hepatic and erythrocytic stage protein is the target of an inhibitory monoclonal antibody.

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Malaria Program, Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20889-5607, USA.


Infected hepatocytes are important targets for malaria vaccines. To identify Plasmodium yoelii proteins expressed in infected hepatocytes, we immunized BALB/c ByJ mice with P. yoelii liver stage schizonts and produced a panel of monoclonal antibodies (Mabs). An IgG1 Mab, navy yoelii liver stage 3 (NYLS3), had the strongest reactivity against liver stage parasites and was selected for further characterization. The Mab does not recognize P. yoelii sporozoites, but recognizes liver stage parasites within 6 hr of invasion of mouse hepatocytes and throughout the hepatic and asexual erythrocytic stages of the parasite life cycle as determined by the immunofluorescent antibody test. This Mab is species-specific, and it reacts with liver stages of P. yoelii but does not react with liver stages of other Plasmodium species. The protein recognized by this Mab is present on the parasitophorous vacuole membrane of infected hepatocytes and erythrocytes as demonstrated by immunoelectron microscopy and has a relative molecular weight of 17 kDa as demonstrated by immunoblot of an extract of infected erythrocytes. It is therefore designated P. yoelii hepatic and erythrocytic stage protein, 17 kDa or PyHEP17. When added to primary cultures of mouse hepatocytes 24 hr after inoculation with P. yoelii sporozoites, when all sporozoites have invaded hepatocytes, NYLS3 eliminates up to 98% of liver-stage parasites. Intravenous injection of NYLS3 into mice delays the onset and reduces the density of blood-stage parasitemia after sporozoite or blood-stage challenge. The P. falciparum and P. vivax homologs of PyHEP17 may therefore be important targets for vaccines designed to attack the hepatic and erythrocytic stages of the parasite life cycle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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